Let us start our study by reading from Genesis Chapter 2, verses 21-24. "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man'. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh".
This passage tells us that God instituted and approved of the marriage of one man to one woman. God has not seen fit to change this arrangement. Marriage is a lasting relationship which must be entered into with much thought and preparation. God has left the method of selecting a mate up to the individual.
The pattern of dating; then going steady; followed by engagement and finally marriage has developed in this country. Too often, insecure teenagers find a person with whom they can be comfortable and mistake this feeling for love. Going steady and cleaving to each other seems to naturally follow this mistaken feeling in many cases. However, going steady may be a dangerous bridge between dating and engagement. When a man decides to take one woman and cleave to her, the two are to be married. The practice of deciding to go steady too quickly, has robbed America's youth of a privilege which God has allowed.
Please do not allow yourself to enter into this social trap that can put you in a relationship so filled with temptation that you may not be able to endure. Too often, premarital sex is one of the unfortunate results of going steady. Sadly, American sociologists seem to approve of intimate sexual contact by couples going steady. In Galatians Chapter 5, however, God condemns sexual relations outside of marriage along with drunkenness, witchcraft, and murder.
After it is too late, many married couples realize that their insecurity has led them to make a tragic mistake. In Luke Chapter 14, verses 28-29, we read: "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him". It is in your best interest to date several different people before you decide who you wish to marry.
Allow me to use this illustration: A man brings you a large container filled with diamonds of various values. You are told to pick one and only one. You have as much time as you desire. However, after you make your choice, there will be no chance to exchange it for another one. Would you be so foolish as to hurriedly reach in and grab the first diamond, or would you take your time and examine all of the precious stones. If you carefully selected the one that was most precious to you, no one would be able to persuade you that you had made a bad choice.
In counseling young married couples, I hear the same story time and time again. Many have been like the foolish man who grabbed the first diamond. They now realize that they were misled and made a hasty decision with which they must live for the rest of their lives. Most tragically, many of these marriages end in divorce. If God's pattern is followed, marriage will result in happiness and fulfillment, not regret and sorrow. Don't let your own insecurity rob you of a free and happy youth which God intended you to have.